When will mobile commerce be ready for primetime?

By Jeff Vance, CIO |  Mobile & Wireless, ecommerce, mobile payments

Those who believe that mcommerce is indeed living up to expectations will point to things like Square and payvia. These solutions allow small businesses to turn their smartphones or tablets into mobile point-of-sale (POS) solutions, giving Mom-and-Pop stores the ability to accept credit card payments without investing in expensive hardware and service agreements.

Related: Square Launches Support for Customer Loyalty ProgramsRelated: How a Mobile Payment Service Can Grow Your Business

Obviously, this means that the transaction, other than the actual credit card processing, still happens the old-fashioned way, by physically visiting a store or calling in an order.

This isn't a knock against Square, payvia and the like, rather it points out that there are new opportunities for mcommerce that aren't being realized.

"If a brand fails to establish a reason for a consumer to engage at the point of sale, and doesn't make the actual transaction so simple they don't even notice it's happening (think Starbucks' plans for Square), the technology infrastructure to support mobile transactions is null and void," says Gene Signorini, vice president, Mobile Insights at Mobiquity, a professional services firm that focuses on enterprise mobility.

Who Pays and Who Assumes the Risk?

Traditional payment methods--credit and debit cards and cash--have well-established infrastructures and risk models attached to them. If you want your transaction to be quick (and in some cases hard to trace), you pay in cash. Even though you're paying with what is essentially worthless paper, the paper gets its value from the Federal Reserve and the strength of the U.S. economy.

If you're buying something online and are worried about fraud, then you pay with a credit card. If anything goes wrong, the credit card provider steps in, and assuming you reported the problem in a timely fashion, you're only liable for $50.

"If the payment mechanism, mobile- or Web-funded, such as a pre-paid gift card, accepts any of the major credit cards, the same protections exist for the consumer," says Dan Dufault, executive vice president, Sales and Marketing at Merchant Warehouse, a provider of credit card processing and mobile payment solutions.

Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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